Saturday, January 29, 2011

Social Media: Broken?

Chrispy thinks so.

I've been working an 8 year experiment of my own.

In the ancient days of the 1990's, Internet 0.0 was essentially text forums on specific topics. Alt Cthulhu dot com I stumbled on just as it began to slow down. It was a treasure trove of information to someone like me, a lurker, who barely knew what a Lovecraft was.

Then Internet 1.0 hit with lots of forums with visuals and avatars and flame wars. Mostly tech savvy A personalities mixed it up with seemingly more heat than light.

Internet 1.5 hit with a storm. MySpace, essentially a means to promote music groups, quickly became besieged with spam and noise. I hear it will die by June this year. Few people will notice if it does. It killed itself.

My greatest excitement was experimenting with the T-12, and learning how to write and garner reads by building whuffie. (IF you don't know what that is, sorry. Maybe later I can explain.) The end of the T-12 was painful for me and others, but you can't contain that many A personalities in one corral. Since then, most everyone has went on to capture awards, fame, and almost no fortune. That certainly applies to moi, sans an award. I don't think I shall ever win a Lovecraft award, but then I could care less about such things.

Then came Horror Mall, and Shane Staley's grand experiment. It seemed it was almost going to work. I met dozens, or maybe hundreds of people interested in horror. People were promoting themselves like crazy, and it seemed it was working - but not for Shane, sadly. He pulled the plug after he - I assume - hemorrhaged hundreds of dollars and thousands of programming hours. R.I.P.

It was killed by a little something called Internet 2.0 and Facebook. And Twitter. What's the verdict?

Twitter spawned a TV show. And it has become another techie thing. If anyone has figured out a way to make money, I don't know. I love Ray Garton's dry sense of humor in his tweets, and follow a few people, but I can't live 24/7 on tweets. It takes a special kind of person, and if that is you, then great! Many are calling for the death of Twitter by the end of the decade.

Facebook looked to have promise. It made a movie! Zynga, the their credit, figured out a way to take addictive psychology and make gaming a means of siphoning off money. By sheer will power they have not got a penny out of me. I think I am the rare person, though. Mrs. Chris has spent hundreds of hours locked up on Farmville. I've tinkered with Treasure Island, killed fish in Fishville (sorry Madame Scorpion!), and will probably get to level 2000 in Mafia Wars. Though I have no idea why I want to keep playing Mafia Wars, but ask Zynga's psychotherapy experts.

Facebook is user unfriendly. I have a page I set up, with no idea how I did it, and can't remove it. I want to set up the blog to autofeed, and after 30 or 40 tries I've essentially given up. There is almost no reason to post a real item because it is gone in 60 seconds buried by game feeds, and other traffic. No way to narrowcast that I can find.

Besides all that, Internet 2.5 is already here, and I can't fathom it. Since I don't use a $500 i-phone-droid-portatext-pad I am out of the loop. I don't have a YouTube TV channel. I don't have the time or equipment to do a podcast. How many of you do?

So, until someone invents a means for the common person to connect with people of like interests on a consistent and reliable consistency, social media remains broken.

And speaking of broken, if you are reading this (and I hope you are) I am not 100% sure that blogger isn't broken at this moment. I have set feeds on several levels that seemed to be working until recently. As soon as I noticed, I set a few new ways you can stay in touch in the margins. RSS feed me if you are interested.

I am still contemplating a move to a new platform. Don't worry, HPL and Blogger will always be here - if google allows. I also plan on going to 3000 posts which will take until at least December. That gives me plenty of time to decide something.

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